Meet the ASCLA Board of Directors: Lori Guenthner, Designated Director of Special Populations

Throughout the coming weeks on this blogspace, we’ll be profiling members of the ASCLA Board of Directors, and it’s the perfect opportunity to learn a bit more about these amazing leaders! Does something in their replies pique your interest? Reach out to them via their contact info at the end of the post. A little networking goes a long way towards improving your personal and professional life.

Lori Guenthner
Youth Services Coordinator, Maryland State Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped
ASCLA Designated Director of Special Populations

Lori Guenthner
Lori Guenthner
  • Why did you join ASCLA? I joined ASCLA because its members are like me: librarians, library agencies and staff serving populations with special needs.
  • How has ASCLA helped you in your career? ASCLA has given me leadership opportunities – serving on the board and chairing the membership promotion committee.
  • What are some of the ASCLA activities you’ve participated in? I’ve participated in ASCLA LSSP (Libraries Serving Special Populations) Library Services to People with Visual or Physical Disabilities that Prevent Them from Reading Standard Print Interest Group. I am a member of the Maryland e-Content Advisory Committee so I like discussing accessible technology. I’ve also submitted webinar ideas.
  • Are there any hot topics in your area of library work? How can ASCLA help? A current hot topic in my area of library work is inclusion in children’s programming. I’d like to see ASCLA partner with ALSC or YALSA to offer webinars/conference programming on inclusion.
  • Tell us about your current role at your library, and a little bit about your career path, too. I work with children and young adults, from birth to age 21. I present story times and organize the summer reading program (and a lot of other things). I started in the public libraries as a generalist. I’m not sure where my career path will lead, but I love working with people.
  • Describe a rewarding experience in your library career. The most rewarding experience for me is getting a phone call or email from a young person excited about the National Library Service program.
  • What are you currently reading and/or listening to? I just started reading The Silent Wife by A.S.A Harrison and I hope it’s better than Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.
  • One fun fact about me: I went to college to be a journalist.
  • Any hobbies? Running.
  • Who is your hero? My hero is my dad. He’s the one who would get me ready for school each morning.

Reach Lori at lguenth -at- 

Maryland State Library’s Jill Lewis wins ASCLA award for library services to blind and physically handicapped

Read the original press release.

Jill Lewis
Jill Lewis

CHICAGO — Jill Lewis, former director of the Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (MDLBPH), is the 2013 recipient of the Francis Joseph Campbell Award—an annual honor presented by the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA).

The award, which consists of a citation and a medal, is presented to a person or institution that has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of library service for the blind and physically handicapped. Keystone Library Automated Systems (KLAS) and the Southern Conference of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS/BPH) provide support for this award.

Lewis, who retired from the library in 2012, was selected for her significant impact on library services in Maryland. Under her leadership, the library developed partnerships that provided a vibrant community center to serve library users with print disabilities. The center includes adaptive technology, cultural programs and an interactive children’s reading center.

Lewis served as the director of the MDLBPH from October 2003 until her retirement in May 2012 and was previously the acting director and collection management librarian. She has also worked as a reference librarian at the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, the Library of Congress, where she conducted a study of educational reading services for individuals with print disabilities and prepared publications for the Reference Section. She earned her M.L.I.S. from the School of Library and Information Studies, The University of Alabama.

Lewis was previously recognized for her important work with the 2012 Distinguished Service Award from the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland (NFBMD) and a Governor’s Citation for Outstanding Service in May 2012. She has been active within ALA and ASCLA since the 1990s and serves on the board of the Montgomery County (Md.) Public Library.

Lewis will receive the Francis Joseph Campbell Award at the ASCLA/COSLA Reception, 5:45 – 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 29 in Field 20A-C, Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, as a part of the 2013 ALA Annual Conference. Add the event to your conference schedule. All conference attendees are invited to this networking and awards event.

ASCLA, a small, mighty and growing division of the American Library Association (ALA), is a diverse organization of librarians and support staff who work in academic and public libraries, state agencies, specialized libraries and cooperatives, as well as those who are self-employed. Our division’s work centers on member-driven interest groups that represent the diversity and important work of our engaged and active members. Learn more about ASCLA and how to join this innovative division.